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Printing From A Smartphone Is About To Get Easier

1 Sep, 2012 By: Harry Hecht, U.S. Bank Equipment Finance imageSource

Mobile PrintingWe’ve all heard the news. Print output is shrinking all because of the impact of tablet and smartphone computing. Well, don’t buy into it. Are you a glass half full or empty kind of person? If you are like me, then you believe the glass is full and overall print output is growing, especially color. It`s all about how you interpret industry data and how close you are to your current clients. They need you; are you listening?

Remote and knowledge based workers are increasing worldwide. This increase has led to a shift in the way businesses are printing documents as well as priorities for future document solution planning. Change is in the air and it’s what you do to capture this opportunity that will separate you from having a growing and prosperous business versus one that is shrinking and caught in the commoditization trap.

Do you have an IPad, IPhone or other tablet? Have you ever wanted to print from it? I know I have used my IPhone for a boarding pass on a plane and for coupons when I shop at CVS. And I never had to use a printer. The interesting thing is, that the technology for printing from a mobile device already exists. HP’s EPrint enables owners to add an HP printer to the Cloud, which creates an e-mail address for it. A smartphone owner would need only to send a document to that e-mail address and the document will print–no installation required.

Still, even those who have web-enabled printing often don’t take advantage of it. Setup is still a mystery and printing to an e-mail address is not the most ideal solution. This type of printing does have its appeal, though–businesses will find it convenient for visiting clients to be able to print. But from a smartphone and tablet standpoint, users still want a way to print with just one click.

One notable solution is xPrintServer Home Edition, a hub that allows small businesses and home users to print from iOS devices. This smaller version of xPrintServer Network Edition can support up to two printers, making it ideal for the small business that wants the ability to print from iOS devices but doesn’t need the full functionality of the network version.

“With the proliferation of mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone, more and more consumers are using them as mainstream, computing devices,” said J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., principal analyst, MobileTrax LLC.“Until recently, the problem with using these devices as PC replacements has been the inability to easily print. The xPrintServer offers a simple solution to fill this market need.”

But what if your devices aren’t running iOS? Mobile printing company Breezy is here! The secure printing platform has a new solution for developers that will add a “print” button to any app. The Breezy Button has to be initiated at the development stage, so users will only have access to print within applications that utilize it.

“We already offer our apps on every major mobile platform, but we don’t want to be just another printing app — we want to be the print infrastructure inside all the other apps,” said Jared Hansen, CEO of Breezy. “Developers can now offer their users secure, reliable printing within their own apps, and users can finally enjoy the type of productivity they’ve always expected from their mobile devices.”

By offering this functionality ahead of competitors, Breezy is poised to be the printer of choice for smartphone printing. Users will see the print button and, theoretically, begin to use it–a choice they’ll likely continue to make once other print options are available. In a consumer market where users are accustomed to printing directly from applications on PCs, having a print button inside an app on a smartphone will likely invite them to click. With Breezy, users don’t have to install printers. Documents will print to nearby Breezy Partner locations, as well as nearby Cloud-enabled printers. The Breezy Button is designed to work with both Android and iOS 5 applications, with a lightweight wrapper the company says is easy to drop into apps with just a few lines of code.

These new solutions are only the beginning. As smartphones and tablets take over the market, printing–whether at home or work–will likely become easier and less involved.

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